How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 2

In my article, How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, I described how I fixed my Panasonic EP1004 massage chair. The chair worked for a year or so, and then stopped working again. The symptoms this time were a bit different from when the clutches got stuck. Instead of running for a while, and then beeping and shutting itself off, the massage mechanism stopped moving up and down. The chair was just stuck in kneading mode, and wouldn’t do anything else. +I was pretty sure the problem was due to a loose belt, but just didn’t feel like taking it apart again. Tonight, I decided it was time to get it working again. I opened it up, and sure enough, one of the belts had slackened so much that the pulleys were just freewheeling. The loose belt was the small one on the far left in the photo below:



The belt doesn’t look loose in the photo, because I forgot to take a photo of it before tightening it up. Unfortunately, there was no adjustment left to tighten the belt. It must have stretched over it’s 15+ year lifetime. I’m pretty impressed by the quality of the of the belts in this thing. They haven’t dried up at all. If you look in the photo below, there are two screws in horizontal slots between the two pulleys. Note that the screws are all the way on the left of the slots, which means that the motor has already been slid as far as it will go to the right. Yet, the belt was still quite loose. I finally jerry rigged a fix by jamming a piece of rubber hose in between the motor and the metal box it’s attached to. To stiffen up the hose, I stuffed a wood dowel into it. The rubber hose is in the photo below, under the green/yellow wire that grounds the motor to the chassis.


The chair is now working again… until something else goes wrong.

Previous related article: How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair
Next related article: How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 3


13 thoughts on “How to Repair a Panasonic Massage Chair, Part 2”

  1. So the screws have more latitude, I suppose one could elongate those bracket slots with a Dremel tool.

    Happy 2015, everyone!

    1. It’s a big pain in the neck to disassemble it to get to the slots, but if you have to patience, that might work.

  2. the belts were still available from Panasonic last year, I bought 2 sets. They were the only parts available for the chair and they came in packs of 2. If you cannot find one contact me and I will send you one

    1. Thanks, that’s a very generous offer, but mine is working fine after many months with my electrical tape on the pulleys kludge, so perhaps you should save them for someone who needs them more than me. Now, my chair has a new symptom, which I can’t figure out how to fix. It often gets stuck mid cycle, repeating the same motions over and over. The only way to get out of it is to switch programs or reset it by quickly hitting the start button a few times.

  3. My 20 something year old Panasonic massage chair works fine but the massage rollers have been squeaking. Do you have a suggestion on how to fix this problem?

    1. Squeaking is caused by slipping belts. They get stretched over the years. Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust the belt tension. You can try my electrical tape hack . Mine is still working squeak free after several months. Or you an try to buy belt dressing and see if that works. Also a commenter above offered to sell me a spare belt, perhaps you can try him.

  4. Thank you very much for your prompt response.
    I turned the chair upside down today when I turned it back the squeaking stopped
    I know that makes no sense
    I will keep using it as is
    Thanks again!

    1. i would kill to find a replacement remote, for my panasonic chair, the on button i must push harder and harder to get it to come on, easy fix, it just plugs into side bottom. but need new or used. ideas?

  5. I have a EP1011 massage chair. It turns on and I hear the motor but it does not move and shuts off. I tried the reset. The belts look good.

  6. Can anyone help me? I have an EP582 Panasonic Massage Lounger, purchased in 1981 and was and continued to be everything I needed and it fit my petite body. I just stopped working; it sounded like a spring sprung. The handyman tried to fix it but says that ? something fell off a rod and he can’t find the piece that perhaps kept it on.
    I haven’t stripped it completely down and opened it completely — because, then what? Right now at least it’s a chair.
    Does anyone have advice? Thank you in advance. But this site is 5 years old I think.

    1. Sorry, but it’s impossible to diagnose your problem from afar. I have uploaded a couple of service manuals in my previous post. Perhaps someone can look at them and figure out what’s wrong

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